Faculty of Education introduces zhigwe/aim, a QR code interaction project with contemporary Indigenous art

Published: 3 February 2017

zhigwe/aim: a QR code interaction with contemporary Indigenous art

February 8th – April 19th, 2017


zhigwe/ aim is a multi-week project initiated by Lori Beavis, P. Lantz artist-in-residence, that seeks to introduce contemporary Indigenous artists and their artwork to the students, faculty and staff of McGill's Faculty of Education. The project will run from February 8, 2017 until April 19, 2017, and will present a new piece each week.

"The word zhigwe (su-i (flat i)-gwe) is the Anishinaabe word for aim," explains Beavis. "It is an appropriate choice on two levels, the first being that in the act of aiming your smartphone at the QR code, information will be revealed about the image. The second is, the aim of this project is to ask –Can learning about the social and political issues these Indigenous artists are examining educate us as educators? Can knowledge of contemporary artists and their art contribute to reconciliation? Will this knowledge help us move forward in reconciliation and build a 'capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect?' (TRC Calls for Action (2015) p. 7, #63.iii)

"Art by artists such as Shelley Niro, Adrian Stimson, Christi Belcourt, Lori Blondeau, Kent Monkman and others has been chosen because they are all working with material and subjects that create awareness of the Indigenous experience in Canada," continues Beavis. "Their work is also very accessible in terms of the subject matter, and the eye-catching images. The viewer may also have an emotional response to the work. Art is often a way to say the unsayable –it can tell stories about family histories, knowledge and experiences and it can often open the space to have a public discussion about difficult and challenging subjects."

These images also speak to the notion of self-representation and this is important because the artists have a story to tell about Canada as a colonial space from an Indigenous perspective. The stories are important and may in some ways act as a form of activism as the information is dispersed.

Beginning in early February look out for images displayed on walls of the Education Building and the Coach House. 

The images of the art works will be displayed alongside a QR Code (Quick Response Code). When the square of black & white code is scanned further information about the artist and the object will be available. The code can be captured with your smartphone camera.  To be able to read QR codes, you need to download a free QR Reader app, such as Quick Scan.

For more information contact or visit Artist-in-Residence Lori Beavis at the Art Hive on Wednesdays from 10-4pm, or loribeavis [at] (by email).

  • Find out what the little black and white square can tell you about contemporary art by Indigenous artists from across Canada!                            

[visit zhigwe/aim photo album on facebook (archive of all images from the project)]


Back to top